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Sifting Through the Jargon – And Making it Work for You!
The terms mission, vision, values, strategy, and tactics are commonly used in business. They can be very useful. But too often they are overused and misused. A mentor and former boss of mine, Neil Rackham, once said, “If words could sue for defamation, strategy would be making its lawyers rich!” Let’s face it, these terms have a lot of different meanings to people and often devolve in to vague corporate-speak.
But, when used correctly, they have real power and provide a strong rudder for directing people and driving your business. It’s important to be proficient in these high-minded management terms so that you can understand their meaning and use them to effectively guide your organization.
I’ve taught a course for University of North Carolina – Keenan Flagler School of Business on this very topic. My intent was to decode the management lexicon and make it pragmatic for everyday use with clear and straightforward terms. Here is a journalistic approach to understanding the top five:
  Mission – Why we exist
  Vision – Where we are going
  Values – Who we are
  Strategy – What we are doing
  Execution and Tactics – How we are going to do it
Don’t allow the jargon to make words lose meaning. Use these terms to create clarity, direction, and definition for the work to be done.
The Science of Happier Spending
A few years ago, I hosted a call for a group of clients on the science of happier spending with Michael Norton, co-author of Happy Money. If you are a reader of this newsletter, odds are you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck. So, our conversation centered around the idea that our level of happiness depends more on how we spend our money, not on how much money we have.
Here were the big takeaways:
  1. Buy experiences, not things. Material goods give us instantaneous, but fleeting, joy. Look to experiences for lasting enjoyment, laughter, and memories.
  2. Keep some things as treats. For example, don’t get that ice cream sundae every day. Add some space between your indulgences and the appreciation will be greater when you do treat yourself.
  3. Buy yourself time. Whether it’s paying someone else to clean your house or weed your garden, the time you recoup to spend on the experiences you enjoy will be well worth it.
  4. Pay ahead of time. Booking your next trip or massage in advance will allow you to relish the anticipation and not think about money during the experience.
  5. Invest in others. Research tells us that spending money on other people brings us greater happiness than spending it on ourselves.
During the call I asked Michael, “what idea that you liked didn’t make it into the book?” As a writer I know sometimes good concepts don’t fit within the structure or you just can’t make them work. He said he cut a chapter initially titled The Curse of Counting, which was essentially about thinking numerically, “Am I better off than I was?” or “better off than others?” There is nothing inherently wrong with these questions for thinking about progress, it just isn’t likely to have a positive impact on your wellbeing.
Take some time to think about how you are spending your money. You’ll discover that real wealth can be found in the time and experiences you are able to generate with the resources you already have.
Want to rapidly improve your ability to communicate? Start acknowledging what others say before you respond. This is especially true if the conversation is tense because people can quickly start talking past one another. When acknowledgement is low in a conversation, it results in incorrect assumptions about what the other person means, failure to register the importance of a point, and an incomplete understanding of critical information. Next time, take a moment to clarify a point and check your understanding of the other person’s intent. You will save a lot of time and wasted energy from misunderstandings and missed connections.

Edinger Consulting